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My Top 10 Music Performances at YouTube.com.

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  • Jen
    Lots of peeps have glommed on to the phenomenon known as YouTube, and Jon s post about certain videos from YouTube that he s compiled at his MySpace profile
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2006
      Lots of peeps have glommed on to the phenomenon known as YouTube,
      and Jon's post about certain videos from YouTube that he's compiled
      at his MySpace profile was the spark for this next Top 10 list of
      mine. I had a limited time window in which to view videos on
      YouTube, so I focused on bands and singers that I'm partial to, ie,
      artists with distinctive and/or intriguing voices and who deliver
      magnetic (emotionally and/or physically dynamic) performances.

      Here are my Top 10 ear-smacking, aurally tasty YouTube nuggets (in
      descending order):

      1. Troy / Sinead O'Connor (PinkPop Festival, 1988)
      This is Sinead at her prime (as opposed to her more recent hushed,
      breathy, washed-out vocal tones) - a vocal and emotional powerhouse -
      fierce, wounded, betrayed, defiant, clarion - an electric
      performance of a spectacularly intimate song. "I'd kill a dragon
      for you, and die, and I will rise, I will return, a phoenix from the
      flames.". Not to be missed, whether you're a fan of Sinead's or not.

      2. Heaven's Not For Saints / Morten Harket (Eurovision song contest
      Morten's decked out in a tux for the event (*sigh*), and this
      performance (any performance he does, really) shows that his
      soaring, sweetly aching vocals on a-ha's 1980s hit song Take On Me
      was not a fluke (as in, manipulated in the studio). The song starts
      off low-key, but wait until the chorus and you'll be thrilled by
      Morten's high-reaching, yeaning vocals - he possesses an incredibly
      beautiful set of pipes.

      3. Starblood / Cranes (Mtv, 120 Minutes, 1991)
      This is 'classic' Cranes (not the delicate, wispy vocals and
      subdued, electronic loops of late) - and one of their most powerful
      and dynamic songs. Abrasive, jagged guitars, massively thumped
      drums, and the traumatized-sounding wails of Alison at her most
      extreme all roil together and plunge to the sonic depths.

      4. Delicious Demon / The Sugarcubes (Mtv Concert - Live from
      Auburn, Alabama, 1989)
      This is my favorite Sugarcubes concert. Some of the clips from this
      show have made their way to YouTube, including the song Delicious
      Demon (songs Traitor, Motorcrash, and Sick For Toys are equally
      compelling, among others), one of their more upbeat numbers, where
      frontman Einar and some unknown gal named Bjork, create the perfect
      duo, with Einar talk-exclaiming (ie, ranting) and Bjork lending her
      formidable lungs (ie, wailing away) to the proceedings. Check out
      the part mid-way through the song where an in sync Einar and Bjork
      improv dance back 'n' forth to their mic stands - it's an
      exhilerating moment.

      5. Animal Nitrate / Suede (Brit Awards, 1993)
      The sound is slightly 'off' (down-a-wind-tunnel metallic sound) in
      this clip, but this early performance captures the ease and glamour
      of Suede's androgynously magnetic frontman Brett Anderson, who
      channels some of Morrissey's moves and makes a glam (black, lacy
      blouse that's barely hanging on his frame) fashion statement. You
      get the full band effect (burnished guitars) with Brett the glorious
      center of attention (and he's in fine vocal fettle, like a full-boil
      kettle). Wait for the ending (or not), where Brett thwacks his
      bottom repeatedly with the mic.

      6. Rid Of Me / PJ Harvey (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno)
      A force to be reckoned with. She burns the place down here with
      massive, emotional, yet controlled vocals and the audience is
      screaming for her - brilliant.

      7. Pretty Like Drugs / Queen Adreena
      This clip is not labeled for place and date, but I'm picking this
      live vid over others by Queen Adreena (even though Pretty Like Drugs
      isn't the band's most lyrically deep or imaginative song) because
      KatieJane (ex-Daisy Chainsaw) gives a rip-roaring performance here
      (well, pretty much in all her performances), all self-destructive
      screaming and emotional battering (and physically battering herself
      and accosting her band-mate Crispin on guitar at least twice!) - the
      crown princess of her own demented, mesmerizing fairy tales (and

      8. Tantalized / The Church (in San Diego, 1998)
      There are just too many live Church performances to look at, so I
      didn't have enough time to hone in on their 'best' live performance,
      but this one definitely ranks up there (and of course all their live
      performances are worthy). The song Tantalized, one of their earlier
      ones, starts off as a guitar and drums squall, and keeps building up
      a guitar frisson and controlled dissonance to rival the best of
      Sonic Youth's freak outs.

      9. Grace / Jeff Buckley (Nulle Part Ailleurs, 1995)
      The late and truly lamented Jeff Buckley wrote loose, kinda
      meandering songs graced with his tremulous, world-weary voice. Jeff
      sings with such abandon and passion here, pushing his voice (so
      angelic on the high notes, so tormented on the low notes), sometimes
      to the point where it's not totally under his control, his
      unharnessed wails and vocal tremors showing how heartfelt his
      performance is.

      10. unknown song / The Boredoms (New York Music Seminar)
      A 10-minute opus of pure expression - a collision of the avart-garde
      and noise. This Japanese band slams right into boundaries of the
      traditional music structure and pushs to the verge of cacophonious
      chaos (some would say they go directly there!), so stand it if you
      can - sludgy metal guitar riffs, unintelligable screaming and
      shrieking from two frontmen (and one guest appearance by a screaming
      frontwoman), the occasional off-kilter trumpet (to add a little jazz
      inflection), electronic knob-twiddling on some deranged frequency,
      and quite possibly the drums holding the whole kaboodle together, or
      at least propelling it along. Crazy shenanigans include the singers
      (um, screamers) stage-jumping and moshing with the crowd, wildly
      swinging microphones, placing mic stands on stomachs and heads,
      eating of said microphones, and using mics in 'light saber' battles -
      it's expressive and exhilerating, a kinetic and creative stew of
      clashing ideas and noise.

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